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    Zens & zensibility
     
    [ 作者: Grossberger, Lewis   来自:期刊原文   已阅:16441   时间:2007-1-16   录入:douyuebo


    ·期刊原文


    Zens & zensibility

    by Grossberger, Lewis

    MediaWeek

    Vol. 7 No. 38 10/13/97

    P46

    Copyright by MediaWeek

     


     

    Section: Media Person


    Forget promise keepers. Promise keepers are over. No real staying power.
    Promise Keepers had their week in the media and went home. Let's just hope
    they keep their promises and stay there. (Their fatal problem: No celebrity
    PKs! Plus the membership is desperately uncool. Homer Simpson would join
    the Promise Keepers, not the guys on Friends.) No big loss, because a much
    sexier religious trend was waiting for its turn in the spotlight: the
    Buddhists! Buddhism has everything: star power, occult mysteries, bald
    gurus, fortuitous connection to a colorful land of suffering under the
    boot-heel of a ruthless oppressor and ritual chanting easily adaptable to
    Western rhythms. Bu-ddha! Bu-ddha! Bu-ddha! That is why Buddhism is on the
    cover of Time (actually, Brad Pitt is, but in his latest movie he plays a
    guy who meets a Buddhist) and the Unitarians aren't.

    Many readers have long suspected that Media Person is a Buddhist monk.
    Wise, inscrutable, with an air of mystical holiness, yet given to
    mischievous pranks such as suddenly shouting, "Shut up, fool!," MP sits
    serenely on his sofahh (couch) in a position best described as a cross
    between the lotus and the fetal, making cryptic pronouncements on the
    television programs passing before him. To many, he appears to be the
    living reincarnation of a two-toed tree sloth. To others, he is just a
    simple man who, having stripped away all worldly goods and desires and,
    subsisting solely on The New York Times and Seinfeld, has managed to
    achieve a higher plane of consciousness known as Napvana (pronounced
    napvana) which, to the uninitiated, is indistinguishable from sleeping but,
    when accomplished by a master like Media Person, is profoundly
    transcendental, even though while in it he occasionally drools.

    But this, like everything else--including you--is mere illusion. The real
    Media Person, like the Internal Revenue Service, is unknowable.

    Buddhism's easy to know, though, at least in a shallow, totally superficial
    sense, which is fortunately the only sense any of us care about over on
    this side of the Himalayas. Skim the next few paragraphs and you'll be able
    to chime in brightly whenever the subject arises in conversation, as it
    almost certainly will for at least another two weeks.

    Basic Vocabulary: Pepper your conversation with these key Buddhist
    expressions and people will think you're one hot lama. Dharma: A delicious
    Buddhist snack of hot rice, walnut paste and yak butter wrapped in thin
    rolled pastry. Karma: The influence of an individual's past actions on his
    or her future lives. Example of usage: "You got such bad karma you ain't
    gettin' a bite of my dharma." Zen: A general compliment in use in this
    country since 1961, when it replaced "existential." Example of usage:
    "That's very zen, man, but don't do it again." Koan: A Buddhist joke.
    Example: Guy walks into a bar, says to the bartender, "What is the sound of
    one hand clapping?" Bartender says, "I don't know." Guy says, "Aha, having
    admitted that, you are on the road to enlightenment, my friend! Now how
    about a free beer?" Bartender kicks his ass into the street, says, "Now
    you're on the road to enlightenment!" (This always gets a big yuk at any
    Buddhist monastery.) Sunyata: Emptiness. The feeling you get when nobody
    laughs at your koan.

    Celebuddhists: Top of the totem pole is Mr. Big himself, the Dalai Lama,
    awesome but affable, hipper than the Pope, even deep- er than Ted Koppel,
    yet able to banter with Jay Leno. Exiled from his native land but unbowed,
    he's an inspiration to all. Anything happens to this spiritual dude, not
    only is Elton John singing at his funeral, but two of the three remaining
    Beatles as well. Never far from his side is No. 2 Buddhist Richard Gere,
    known to believers as The Anti-Heston and available for photo ops against a
    dramatic background of Himalayan peaks. (Please, no autographs while he's
    meditating.) Fastest-rising Buddhist rookie: Stephen Seagal, scowling
    Buddhist avenger, recently recognized by Buddhist holy men as the
    reincarnation of Victor Mature. Seagal proves that you can tread the lotus
    path without having to give up worldly practices such as breaking people's
    arms at random. Not yet a Buddhist: Parker Posey, named America's most
    famous unknown movie star by New York magazine three weeks ago; however, a
    team of monks and Hollywood publicity men are negotiating the deal as MP
    writes this.

    Buddhist Concepts (optional reading): Essentially, Buddhism is karma and
    the awareness and transformation of the mind. It is the understanding of
    The Four Noble Truths which, of course, we don't have the space to go into
    here, and the concept of Emptiness, which can best be explained as follows:
    Say you are stranded in the Sahara Desert with no entertainment whatever
    and your only companion is Tony Danza. Now you know the true meaning of
    Emptiness.

    In closing, Media Person reminds you that Buddhism is a great, noble
    philosophy that has inspired multitudes over thousands of years and whose
    future depends mainly on how that Brad Pitt picture grosses in its first
    week.
                              

     

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